Monday, July 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Tohra is Cong protege: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 7
The SAD Political Affairs Committee (PAC) has decided to file a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the government decision to remove the present members and re-constitute the Sikh Gurdawara Judicial Commission.

This was announced by the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, after the PAC meeting at Kalgidhar Niwas here today. He described the government action as ‘’unconstitutional’’, against the spirit of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, and that is tantamount to gross interference of the government in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.

Mr Badal said that the commission was constituted out of the panel of names recommended by the SGPC in 1999. The state could not impose its own nominees. The panel of names had to come from the SGPC, as per the Act. Moreover, the entire gambit of appointments and removal of the commission members was already before the high court and its judgment is expected any day.

The PAC meeting adopted three identical resolutions, all hitting out at Mr G.S. Tohra and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The main thrust of these resolutions, as also the briefing by Mr Badal, was to paint the former SGPC President as a ‘’protege’’ of the Congress, who was out to divide the Panth yet again for his vested interests.

Are today’s three resolutions an ‘’over-reaction’’ of the PAC to the attempts being made by Mr Tohra to form a new Akali Dal? Emboldened by the recent outcome of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, is SGPC the next target of Mr Tohra, who wants to oust its President, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar?

To all such questions, Mr Badal said: ‘’We warn Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Tohra not to interfere in the religious affairs of the Sikhs, as also caution the Sikh Panth to beware of such nefarious designs, aimed at creating fissures and factions in the Panth.

The resolutions have named other factions like the Panthic Morcha, the Sarb-Hind Shiromani Akali Dal etc, warning the people to beware of their designs. It was alleged that in the DSCMC elections Punjab police, led by Inspector-General (Security), Rajinder Singh intimidated Sikh voters and leaders at the behest of Capt Amarinder Singh.

One of the resolutions reiterated full faith and confidence in the leadership of Mr Badal, who was described as ‘’mehboob neta’’.

Asked about the ministers facing corruption charges and evading arrest, Mr Badal said he could only appeal to them, meaning Mr Sucha Singh Langah, to ‘’surrender’’ and hastened to say he was not in touch with him.

Mr Badal was flanked by Mr Badungar, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Mr Sikandar Singh Maluka, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal and others.


Educationists release ‘white paper’
Aim to remove flaws in education system
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 7
In an effort to make people aware about flaws in the Indian education system and to find remedies, educationists of the city released a “white paper” today in which eminent persons, including Dr Romila Thapar, Dr K.N. Panikar, Dr Amrik Singh and Dr S.S. Johl, have given suggestions for finding a solution to the problem.

The “white paper” not only gives views of eminent persons but also advises the people that if they make united efforts, the education system in the country could be revived for the betterment of society.

Published by a monthly magazine, of the Teachers Home in the city, the “white paper”, if implemented in letter and spirit, could give a new direction to education, said Mr Jagmohan Kaushal, Editor.

Those who have contributed articles are Dr Romila Thapar, renowned historian, Dr Amrik Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Dr K.N. Panikkar, Vice-Chancellor of Shankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Cochin, Mr Irfan Habib, member of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Dr S.C. Bhatnagar, Head of the Department of Mathematics at Niveda university, and Mr Anil Sadgopal, Head of the Department of Education of Delhi University.

Besides, contributors from Punjab include Mr Pritam Singh, Dr T.R. Sharma, Dr S.S. Johal, eminent economist and Vice-Chairman of the Punjab Planning Commission, Dr T.R. Vinod, Dr Shayam Sunder Deepti, practising doctor, Mr Dalip Singh Namdhari, a mechanical engineer and secretary of Namdhari Darbar of Bhaini Sahib, Mr Gurmail Singh Dardi, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Hamdardveer Noshahrvi, Dr S. Tarsem, Dr Gurcharan Singh Aulakh, Mr Ajay Samir and Padam Shri awardee Gurdial Singh.

Almost all writers felt that although a hue and cry had been raised about defects in the education system, yet nobody was coming forward to remove these. They said somebody had to take the initiative and for that some sacrifices had to be made.

The 195-page “white paper” is in three languages — English, Hindi and Punjabi — in a booklet form.


Pritpal in police custody
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 7
A local court today remanded PPSC former Secretary Pritpal Singh to police custody till July 10 following a statement by the State Vigilance Department that he used to take answersheets from his Superintendent and approach examiners to increase marks of selective candidates on one pretext or the other.

The prosecution, while arguing the case before Duty Magistrate Gopal Arora, alleged that Mr Pritpal Singh used to take question papers from the strong room of the commission’s headquarters here to suspended Chairman Ravinderpaul Singh Sidhu’s mother’s house in Chandigarh.

Public Prosecutor G.S. Sandhu claimed that examiners had disclosed during investigation that they used to overwrite on question papers at Ravi Sidhu’s behest. He said the former Secretary needed to be questioned about the circumstances under which this was done and who were the examiners involved.

It was charged that Mr Pritpal Singh did not keep proper records during his stint in the PPSC since 1998 even though he was the Chief Controller of Examinations. Speaking about the irregularities found in the answersheets of some of the candidates, the prosecutor said in case of Amol Gill, daughter of Mr Justice Amarbir Singh Gill, parts of the answersheet were not marked, even though marks had been awarded on its cover.

The prosecution alleged that in all such cases there was no note explaining the deletions and overwriting. The Public Prosecutor said the commission record destroyed during Mr Pritpal’s stint was also to be verified besides finding out under what circumstances this had been done.

Pleading the Secretary’s case, his counsel Ashok Mathur said a case had been registered against the former Secretary in April. Following this, Mr Pritpal Singh had joined the investigations and had been taken to various places in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar, District Attorney Vijay Markan’s office here and even Central Jail where he was confronted with statements of the accused.

He said there was no proof that the former Secretary had indulged in tampering. Regarding the burning of the commission record, there were provisions under which it could be burnt. He said the prosecution was not specific as to what record had been burnt.

It was argued that Mr Pritpal’s arrest was not necessary to affect any recovery. Hence he should be sent to judicial custody as he had been cooperating during the entire investigation of the case.

The application will be decided tomorrow.


Freed foreigners still in deportation centres
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 7
Many citizens of neighbouring countries are lodged in deportation centres in Punjab as the countries of their origin have refused to take them back after their release from jails in the state after serving terms for committing various crimes.

This was revealed here yesterday by the ADGP (Jails) Mr Izhar Alam, while talking to mediapersons during a visit to inspect the local Central Jail.

Mr Alam said at present there were between 40 to 50 foreigners lodged in different jails in the state. He said most of them belong to Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They were undergoing imprisonment for different crimes, including drug trafficking.

While maintaining that the conditions in jails in Punjab were better than those in other states, he admitted that the number of inmates was more than the capacity. While 9814 inmates could be lodged in the jails, there were in fact 12500 persons at present.

Mr Alam said as the jails at Faridkot, Mansa and Bassi Pathana had been closed following the declaration of their buildings being unsafe, the inmates of the jails had been shifted to other jails.

He said in Haryana, there were 11000 inmates against the capacity of 3300 and in Uttar Pradesh the jail capacity was 7000 while the number of inmates was 50000.

About open jails, he said one such jail was at Nabha and the other was at Kapurthala.

He stated that Special anti-drug campaigns would soon be launched for the inmates. The superintendents had asked to send proposals to the government for setting up anti-drug centres in their jails and they would also be asked to form committees of inmates to motivate others to quit the habit.


Badungar writes to PM on Bluestar
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 7
The SGPC chief, Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, in a letter to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, has expressed anguish over the failure of the Central Government to condemn the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 in Parliament.

He has stated that the Union Government was ignored the issue, even as the US Government had condemned the hate crimes against Sikhs after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The SGPC chief has raised the issue with the Centre at a time when efforts are on by the Gurcharan Singh Tohra led Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal to corner the SGPC chief and move a no-confidence motion against him. Also, the SGPC chief is in the thick of a controversy over the Baba Baniarawala issue.

The letter lauds the “spirit of accommodation” of the American people towards the civil rights of the minorities. It also appreciates the European community for granting certain religious rights to the Sikhs like carrying a miniature kirpan or exemption from wearing a helmet which “our own government grudges to grant”.

Interestingly, the American resolution was moved in the American Parliament on October 2 last year. This means the issue of condemnation of atrocities on Sikhs comes nine months after the US resolution.

Radical organisations say the letter is an attempt to divert the attention of the public from vital issues that are being raised against the SGPC chief.

Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, spokesman of the Dal Khalsa, says the letter is an effort to shift focus from real issues facing the panth.


Robbers strike at 5 villages, kill one
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 7
Looting and snatching incidents by anti-social elements have increased in Tanda area of the district. Looting cases in five villages and one murder were reported at Tanda police station yesterday.

According to police sources, robbers first struck at a liquor vend at Ramdaspur village. Later at about 11.30 p.m., they went to a cold storage at Ambala Jattan and beat up Chaman Lal and his wife Hiramani. They deprived the couple of gold earrings and Rs 1,500 in cash.

The robbers then went to Ghugga Kalan. They beat up an old man, Tal Mohammad mercilessly who was sleeping in front of the local school. Next the gang went to Chatowal village and entered the house of Ranjit Singh. They assaulted him and his wife with sharp-edged weapons and stole gold and cash.

About 100 yards from the house of Ranjit Singh, they entered the house of Joginder Singh. Joginder Singh and his three sons challenged the looters. One of them threw his cot at them. This compelled them to flee. Next they went to the house of Tarsem Singh outside Jhanji village where they assaulted labourers Mohmmad Kishore and Magnesh Kumar. In the ensuing scuffle one of the robbers stabbed Mohmmad Kishore who died on the spot.

On receiving information, the Tanda police visited the villages in the morning and shifted the injured to the Civil Hospital, Tanda. Some were referred to the DMC, Ludhiana.


PSSF to intensify agitation
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 7
The Punjab Subordinate Services Federation has decided to intensify its stir against the alleged “dictatorial” policies being pursued by the Congress government by imposing huge cuts on employee benefits.

Addressing a well-attended state-level convention of the Federation at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here today, its president Mr Paramjit Singh Gandhri, said it would be  impossible for the employees to sustain the impact of the huge cuts in their salaries.

“We have decided to intensify our stir against such policies by organising districtwise rallies and protest dharnas across the state in the month of July”. 

“Though the Congress had promised in its poll manifesto that it would give extra benefits to employees, the government had entered into a unnecessary confrontation with the employees by issuing wrong orders,” Mr Gandhri alleged.

The convention adopted a resolution criticising the government move to invoke ESMA to curb the proposed strike by thousands of  Punjab State Electricity Board employees on July 9 against the budget proposals. The resolution also extended unconditional support to the PSEB employees in their agitation and asked its members to  join protest rallies.

In another resolution, the federation criticised the DPI (Secondary) for suspending the press secretary of the federation, Mr Kulwant Singh Gill. It urged the Punjab Education Minister, Mr Khushal Behl, to reinstate him.


Take closer look before sacking docs’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 7
The PCMS Association has urged the government to undertake proper inquiries into each of the cases of appointments of doctors during the tenure of the tainted PPSC chief, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, before deciding to terminate the services of all 872 doctors without giving them the benefit of doubt.

In a press note, the PCMS Association, headed by Dr Navtej Pal Singh said the procedure for the selection of doctors was different from the selections of other posts. Besides, none of the touts of Mr Ravi Sidhu had named a single doctor who had paid bribes to secure his post.

In such a scenario, the decision to terminate all these doctors selected during the tenure of the PPSC Chairman amounted to punishment to aggrieved parties without trial.

The PCMS has urged the government to take appropriate action against those found guilty while the rest should not be denied their rightful due.


Girls ‘want to’ know more about self
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 7
Ms Annie Romanos, Indian coordinator of the Sydney-based NGO Global Village Group, today observed that girls in rural Punjab were hungry for knowledge regarding themselves but lacked opportunities. Since knowledge was power, it was a pre-requisite for women empowerment, she told this correspondent here after holding an off-beat workshop at Sultanpur Lodhi about the physiological aspects of women, the biological changes and how to cope with these.

Ms Sneha, vice-chairperson of the ARK, a Delhi-based NGO, was the co-convener of the workshop sponsored by the International Social and Cultural Welfare Society, Sultanpur Lodhi. Thirty girls and young women from remote villages attended the workshop.

“We now plan to hold another workshop at some other place regarding sex education which is a taboo even today,” said Ms Annie and Ms Sneha. “We are alarmed that even grown-up girls lack common knowledge about bare facts like periods”, they said, adding that ignorance and male infidelity were the major factors for Indian women to be HIV positive and scientific sex education could go a long way in curbing AIDS in India.


Help check female foeticide, doctors urged
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 7
Urging the medical fraternity not to use ultrasound machines for sex determination to help contain the decline in sex ratio in the state, Punjab Health Minister R.C. Dogra has said that the state government has geared up its machinery to launch a statewide crusade against the menace of female foeticide.

Speaking at a seminar on “Female foeticide — its impacts on society” organised by the National Integration of Medical Association (NIMA) here today, Mr Dogra said the public was not cooperating in curbing female foeticide, which was evident from the census report released by the Central Government showing a decline in the sex ratio in Punjab.

“We have decided to organise special seminars and camps in rural areas to put brakes on this menace. Besides the medical fraternity should not violate the PNDT Act for garnering huge profits by sacrificing the reputation of this noble profession,” Mr Dogra urged.

Later, representatives of NIMA, led by its president, Dr S.P. Dogra, presented a memorandum of demands to Mr Dogra urging him to set up a separate directorate for Ayurvedic doctors. They demanded that their pay scales should be on par with PCMS doctors. The minister invited them for talks on Chandigarh and assured to accept their demands.


Rly Union opposes new zones
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 7
The Northern Railway Mazdoor Union condemned the move by the Union ministry of Railway’s to form new zones.

In a statement today, Mr G.Sanjeeva Reddy, president of he union, said policy makers were crippling the financial health of the Indian Railways.

The running of suburban trains and certain passenger services due to social obligations were resulting in huge losses to the government even as the government was not compensating any of these losses, he said.

The formation of new zones, he stated, would further drain the financial resources and was ill advised on operational considerations. He advocated the upgradation of technology and communication networking in existing nine zones to bring about needful efficiency.

Instead the policy makers had created zones and that would not only create bottlenecks, interrupting the free flow of freight traffic but would result in unavoidable expenditure without bringing any significant financial advantage, he said.

The union asked the government to review several anomalies in the various categories of railway men. Mr Reddy said despite these anomalies being discussed at the meetings of the anomaly committee constituted by the government, no positive result had been visible.


NRI Sabha working to be overhauled
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, July 7
Mr, Balbir Singh, MP and vice-patron of the NRI Sabha, talking to mediapersons here today, said the functioning of the Sabha was being overhauled so that it could act as a facilitator NRIs to invest their money in their motherland.

Earlier, the sabha had been functioning merely as a committee to redress grievances of NRIs. He said government had returned agricultural land measuring 25 acres to farmers to which was acquired by the previous government Pholniwal village for “Parvasi Heritage Bhawan”. He said he had urged Capt Amarinder Singh to ensure that only such officials be posted at Delhi and Amritsar airports who could put an end to harassment being faced by the NRIs. lauding the contribution of NRIs in the development of infrastructure in the field of education and health Mr Balbir Singh said the Punjab government had decided to release matching grants to these institutions.

Mr Pritam Singh, SDM, Mr Lekh Raj and Mr Daljit Singh Sahota and Mr Jaswant Singh Bhath ( Indian Overseas Congress UK)

Mr Pritam Singh Narangwal, president, NRI Sabha, Punjab, Mr Surinder Singh Sodhi Mr Kewal Singh Dhillon and Ms Jatinder Kaur Moonga, president and secretary, respectively, of the district unit of the NRI Sabha, also addressed the meeting.

The district unit of the Sabha honoured Mr Balbir Singh, MP, and Mr Pritam Singh Narangwal on the occasion.


Jail inmates write to ADGP, seek better life
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 7
The inmates of the local Central Jail, in a memorandum submitted to the Additional Director General of Police (Jails), Mr Mohammad Izhar Alam, who was here yesterday on a routine inspection, urged him to take necessary action to improve the quality of life of jail inmates.

According to the memorandum, a copy of which was available with The Tribune, the inmates have urged the authorities concerned that they should be given coaching in job-oriented courses that would enable them to earn a livelihood. They pointed out that they were being trained in age-old professions like weaving khaddar, carpets and cane whereas these activities were of no use after an inmate completed his sentence. They urged that necessary modifications should be made for changing the training.

The jail inmates said those who complete their leaves from jails peacefully should be asked to produce the requisite certificates signed by at least three panchayat members and the procedure asking the inmates to produce such a certificates from the police station concerned should be done away with. Similarly, the leave of new inmates should be sanctioned within 45 days. This would save the inmates from unnecessary harassment, they said.

They also sought maintenance of proper medical records and STD facility.

The jail inmates alleged that the newspapers which were supposed to be read by them were actually delivered at the houses of the senior officials of the police. They added that sometimes the jail guards were influenced by certain inmates, who managed to escape. They alleged that they were allowed to sleep on beds and the dari (carpet) given to them was too small to sleep on.

Other demands included doing away with the concept of class ‘A’ and class ‘B’ jails, construction of more jails, limiting the number of inmates in any jail within specific limits, proper maintenance of trees and shrubs in jails to save environment, giving the inmates quality food and clothes to wear, installing more TV sets in jails, constructing more rooms for the relatives of the inmates who come to meet them. The inmates said a chart showing the list of items to be given to them should be pasted at a common place in the jail, so as to make procedure transparent.


NCC cadets help cops man traffic
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 7
The first ever move to train and deploy NCC cadets on traffic duty on an experimental basis in the district is getting a mixed response. Some residents say the move will help regulate the flow of traffic while others say that the cadets can not perform the duty with the degree of competence that of a police personnel.

As there was shortage of traffic police personnel, the police authorities had chalked out a plan to train and later deploy NCC cadets from various schools and colleges to assist the traffic police.

After training about 50 cadets were selected and at present they were deployed at various points in the city.

During the first phase the cadets would be deployed along with the police personnel and if their work was found satisfactory they could also be deployed independently. Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said that the response to the move so far was good although the cadets were still under training. He said that as the training in the police lines was not sufficient, the police personnel had been asked to give tips to the cadets while on duty. The training and deployment of the NCC cadets would continue in future also, he added.


WB team to visit Punjab in Aug
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 7
A World Bank team led by Edward Lin, Project Director, will visit Punjab early next month for further discussions on providing loan to the state so that its flaccid economy could be put back on rails and developmental works could be initiated. This was stated by Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Political Secretary of the Chief Minister, who was here to inaugurate a hospital.

Speaking on the occasion, Rana Sodhi promised that a medical college and research centre would soon be established here and for which discussions were going on with a few private parties.

Rana Sodhi said that the state government had also sought soft loans from UNO.


Magician’s plea to Punjab Govt
Tribune News Service

Ropar July 7
Noted magician Samrat Mangal Tara has urged the Punjab Government to set up an academy in the state to save the art of magic, which was slowly disappearing from the country.

The magician has also appealed to the Punjab Government to give full tax relief on magic shows on the pattern of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Samrat Mangal Tara, who is in town to perform magic shows, talking to mediapersons, stated if state governments and the Centre did not come forward to save the art of magic, it would disappear completely from the country.

The magician who hails from Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan), accused successive government of doing nothing for the promotion of this art. He said his staff faced several hurdles in getting permission from the authorities for organising shows at several places.


Harassment of woman denied
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, July 7
The local police authorities on Friday said that a woman of Gidderbaha, who was called to the police station for questioning into an incident of chain-snatching, was not harassed. This was stated in a press note issued by the district police. It said an inquiry into the allegations that the woman was beaten up brutally at the police station was conducted by the DSP, Gidderbaha. The police authorities said the reports which appeared in a section of the press were not true.

The authorities said the allegations levelled by a lawyer that the police authorities harassed the woman were baseless. They said the allegations were levelled so that no action would be taken against the woman into the incident of chain-snatching. The authorities said the matter would be referred to the Deputy Commissioner.


AIFB unfolds political agenda
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 7
The Punjab unit of the All-India Forward Bloc (AIFB) has drawn up a comprehensive plan to create a socialist, secular and exploitation-free state, in letter and spirit.

Talking to the correspondent here on Friday, Mr V.P. Saini, general secretary of the state unit of the AIFB, said it would work to protect the socialistic fabric of the present political system. Besides, it would also not allow ongoing privatisation of public undertakings.


Martyr cremated
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 7
The mortal remains of sepoy Harmesh Singh of the 9th Dogra Regiment, who sacrificed his life while protecting the border at the Dras sector in Jammu and Kashmir on June 2, were consigned to the flames with full Army honours at his native village of Dagan in Dasuya subdivision in the district yesterday.

Thousands of people from the adjoining areas including Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Commander N.K. Khanna, Lt-Col Ram Parkash, Capt Gajjan Singh and Mr Arunesh Shaker, former MLA, attended the funeral.


Dogra: need for more drug inspectors
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 7
Admitting the shortage of Drug Inspectors in Punjab, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mr R.C. Dogra, said this was, responsible for the free availability of intoxicants in the border areas of the state.

Talking to mediapersons on the occasion of the inauguration of the separate unit of blood components at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here today, Mr Dogra said the state required 50 Drug Inspectors whereas only nine Drug Inspectors were with the state at present.

Others present on the occasion included Mr Sunil Datti, Mayor, Dr Rajkumar, and Mr Jugal Kishore, MLAs. Dr Swami Saran Sharma, Assistant Professor and in-charge of the blood bank in the hospital, apprised the minister about the working of the unit.


ADC checks MC works
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 7
Mr B.K. Sabharwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner, ADC, has held an inquiry into works undertaken by the Dhariwal Municipal Committee against a grant of Rs 60 lakh given to the committee by the previous government.

Mr Sabharwal yesterday checked 30 development works undertaken by the municipality. He found that Rs 35 lakh out of the grant had lapsed due to alleged internal fighting of municipal councillors.


Six arrested for cheating banks
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 7
The district police has busted a gang of tricksters with the arrest of its six members, who in connivance with revenue and bank officials, cheated about a dozen local banks by getting sanctioned loans to the tune of about Rs 44 lakh on fake documents.

Mr Balkar Singh, in charge of the CIA staff of the district police, said here today that on a tip-off about a fraud on July 4, a special team was constituted to investigate the matter, which found that  a gang of tricksters, in connivance with revenue and bank officials, had duped different branches of nationalised banks and other financial institutions by submitting fake documents like land registration deeds to get about Rs 44 lakh sanctioned as loan for various purposes.

Subsequently, a case was registered and six persons were arrested yesterday. The arrested are Ajit Singh and Amrik Singh of Jattewali village, Om Parkash of Dashmesh Nagar, Joginder Singh of Bambiawala village, Surinder Singh of Johl village and Manjit Singh of the local Bhagat Singh colony.

The arrested persons revealed during preliminary interrogation that they had invested the money taken from banks as loan in two finance companies and had purchased several residential plots in different parts of the city.

Mr Balkar Singh said during checking of official records of bank, it was found that Ajit Singh had taken Rs 26.50 lakh as loan on fake documents from nine branches of nationalised banks and some financial institutions.

Similarly, Surinder Singh had used fake documents for a loan of Rs 12.50 lakh. Om Parkash got a loan of Rs 3 lakh from the Panshta branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce.

Mr Rajpal Singh Sandhu, DSP, said the police was investigating the role of bank officials since none of the documents submitted by these tricksters were found to be counter-checked by the Revenue Department, thus, putting a question mark on the functioning of the banks.

“In fact, the whole scam indicates the active involvement of bank officials and it is learnt that money had exchanged hands for facilitating the sanctioning of loans on fake documents,” Mr Sandhu added.


Former SHO booked in kidnapping case
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 7
After constant efforts for nine years by Mrs Simarjit Kaur, a resident of Nagoke village, a case was registered against Suba Singh, a retired police Inspector, following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Suba Singh allegedly kidnapped her husband Gurcharan Singh with the intention to kill him.

According to the case Gurcharan Singh was allegedly kidnapped by Suba Singh on June 18, 1993 and was later released.

Mrs Simarjit Kaur went from pillar to post to get a case registered against the SHO but could not succeed. She filed a writ petition in the high court in 1996 and the court ordered the DGP (crime), Punjab, to register a case against the SHO on February 21, 2002. However, case was registered under Section 364, IPC, yesterday. No arrest had been made so far.


PCCTU to hold dharnas
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 7
After observing protest days on June 25 and July 1, the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has announced its next phase of agitation against “distortion of the Pension-cum-Gratuity Scheme and downsizing of the 95 per cent Grant-in-Aid Scheme”.

Stating this here, Dr V.K. Tewari, general secretary, PCCTU told The Tribune, that dharnas would be held outside the offices of Principals after suspending work from 10.30 a.m. to 12 noon on July 10. “Chetna” rallies would also be organised to make students aware about the issues exercising the minds of the teaching community and the backtracking of the Punjab Government from these issues.

During the next phase, mass protest deputations would call on the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs and MPs from July 15 to August 15, said Dr Tewari. Teachers would take mass casual leave on August 13 for joining a march to Parliament in New Delhi to oppose the “anti-education” policies of the Central and state governments. The national body of teachers, AIFUCTO, in coordination with the all-India federations of teachers, armchairs and students would organise this massive action, said Dr Tewari, who is also the national secretary of AIFUCTO.

Over 5,000 teachers of over 170 non-government colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh are demanding, implementation of the Pension-cum-Gratuity Scheme of December 18, 1996, in the light of gazetted law of April 26, 1999, restoration of grants to 95 per cent level, and release of UGC arrears of Rs 21.35 crore etc.


Primary education for all in Muktsar: DEO
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, July 7
Mr Sohan Lal Goyal, District Education Officer, has said that primary education would be provided to all children in the age group of 6 to 14 and the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (education for all drive), launched by the Ministry of Himan Resource Development, would be implemented with the help of NGOs, parents, teachers and education development committees constituted at village level.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Goyal said funds would be provided for the scheme and every child under the specified age group would be admitted to a school by 2003.

Mr Goyal said teachers, parents, education development committee, parent-teacher associations and NGOs would share a platform to draft policies to help spread education among illiterate children. He added that the funds would be deposited directly in the accounts of the education development committee. He said cheques for Rs 34 lakh had been released for improving drinking water facilities and construction of toilets in schools.

Mr Amargurpreet Singh, member of the District Education Committee, said the process to evaluate and classify schools on the basis of the 200-point system would be started soon in the district. He said teachers would be trained regarding this through seminars.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |